Yoshi's Cookie
  • Genre:
    • Puzzle
  • Developer:
    • Bullet-Proof Software
  • Publishers:
    • Nintendo (NES/GB)
    • Bullet-Proof Software (SNES)
  • Released:
    NES/GB
    • JP 11/21/1992
    • US April 1993
    • UK 04/28/1993
    SNES
    • US June 1993
    • JP 07/09/1993
    • UK 1993
Score: 70%

This review was published on 02/05/2015.

Yoshi's Cookie is a puzzle video game developed by Bullet-Proof Software for the Game Boy, Nintendo Entertainment System, and Super NES. Nintendo published the Game Boy and NES versions, whereas the SNES version was published by Bullet-Proof Software. The NES and Game Boy versions were released in Japan on November 21, 1992, North America in April 1993, and Europe on April 28, 1993. The SNES version was released in North America in June 1993, Japan on July 9, 1993, and Europe in 1993. Originally, Yoshi's Cookie began development as an SNES game titled "Hermetica," which was produced by game designer David Nolte. This version of the game was first shown off by Bullet-Proof Software at the Consumer Electronics Show in 1992. Nintendo then obtained the rights to the 8-bit versions of Hermetica and changed it into Yoshi's Cookie, which featured characters from the Mario universe. Yoshi's Cookie is an interesting spin on the tile matching puzzle genre, but it unfortunately doesn't have the staying power of other popular puzzlers like Tetris.

Image

Cookie matching is what Yoshi's Cookie is all about. Inside the cookie chamber is a wall of different cookies, and you must manipulate these cookies to match them. This is done in kind of a strange manner; you move a cursor around with the d-pad and then hold down the button to freeze the cursor in place. While the button is held down and the cursor is frozen in place, a cross appears, highlighting the row and column you're able to move. At this point, you can move the selected row and column with the d-pad in an attempt to match cookies. Cookies will loop horizontally and vertically, too, which is a bit of a mind bend. To get rid of the cookies, an entire row or column of cookies must be matched. The size of the row and column doesn't matter. Victory is attained when the whole screen is cleared of cookies, and a loss occurs if too many cookies fill the screen either horizontally or vertically. It's a tad difficult to get the hang of controlling the game at first, but it's not as complex as it sounds. Still, it's not quite as simple as something like Tetris.

Image

Action Mode, or 1P Mode as it's called in the NES and GB versions, is the main single player mode of Yoshi's Cookie. The objective of this mode is to simply clear the screen of cookies. The speed at which the cookies appear and the number of cookies you start with increases as you progress through the stages, eventually resulting in an intense challenge. Starting off with more cookies means that there are more rows and columns, and also, the rows and columns are larger. Since an entire row or column has to be matched to be cleared and the bigger ones take longer to line up, this makes things considerably more difficult. It's at that point when you'll have to use more advanced strategies, like lining up multiple rows and columns at a time. There are ten rounds and ten stages per round, so this is fairly a long mode. You can pick what round to start from, though, which is nice. In the SNES version, the background will change every round, making this mode slightly more engaging. Besides that, there's not much else to this mode. It's the same thing every stage; it just gets harder each time.

Image

VS Mode is the second mode available in Yoshi's Cookie. In this mode, you can challenge a friend or battle against a computer opponent in a puzzling cookie contest. It's still about matching cookies, but the rules have been tweaked to accommodate a more competitive game. Each player will have a small play area of cookies to contend with, and their point meters increase every time they complete a line of like cookies. The first player to 25 points wins the round and whoever wins three rounds first takes the game. Both players have a timer and if they don't complete a line before the timer runs out, they'll lose prematurely. Additionally, players can attack each other by completing lines that consist of special cookies that are shaped like Yoshi. The way this works is odd: above each play area is the title of a random event with the name of the player it will affect, and matching the special cookies when that event is present will make it come to pass. This can be good or bad, as you can sometimes inflict negative events onto yourself instead of your opponent by using the special cookies at the wrong time. The VS Mode in Yoshi's Cookie, while playable, is quite jarring.

Image

A mode exclusive to the SNES version of Yoshi's Cookie is Puzzle Mode. The levels in this mode were designed by Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov. The idea behind this mode is simple; you must clear all the cookies on the screen in a limited amount of moves. It may sound simple at first, but these puzzles become rather nefarious later on. Rather than testing your speed and accuracy, these puzzles focus on testing your mind. You have all the time in the world to solve each puzzle, and you'll need it. Don't be surprised if you find yourself stumped on a single puzzle for hours. However, due to the nature of these puzzles, you can simply look up the solutions in a guide. That would ruin all of the fun, though. There are ten rounds with ten stages each, which combine to form a total of a hundred puzzles. You have unlimited tries to beat each puzzle and can use passwords to start on the last puzzle you left off, so while the puzzles do get absurdly hard, it's all rather forgiving. The passwords are somewhat unnecessary, though, since you can simply select which round you want to start from via the menu. Overall, this is a neat mode.

Image

Yoshi's Cookie is far from your cookie cutter puzzle game. It took the oversaturated puzzle genre of the early '90s and did something different with it, which is admirable. The SNES version is obviously the best one, as it not only has better graphics and sound, but it also packs an additional mode. It's not all cookies and cream, though. Even though it's a unique take on a tired genre, the controls are a bit too complex and the mechanics are tough to grasp. Yoshi's Cookie is a decent puzzle game, but it's not going to be remembered with the best of the best like Tetris and Dr. Mario. It lacks the depth that gave those games limitless replay value. That's just how the cookie crumbles.

Word Count: 1,130

Tweet